The Cage


Season 1
Episode 0

Air Date

Pilot that never aired on TV




The Enterprise, commanded by Captain Pike, answers a distress call from a remote planet, only to find itself captive to alien beings who wish to breed and exploit the humans as slaves.

Personal Rating

If all the Star Trek episodes were this hokey, I doubt the show would have achieved the immense popularity it did. The episode is somewhat engaging since the aliens’ motives remain a mystery until the end, and the basic story about aliens with the power of telepathy is OK. Just don’t go to Talos for plastic surgery.

Mr. Spock, who plays the science officer, is unbelievably stiff in this first episode, barking out words as if everyone else is deaf. Thank goodness he mellowed out in subsequent episodes.

This episode also introduces the future Nurse Chapel, but as a ship’s first officer, who, ironically, has a demeanor similar to that of the future Mr. Spock: unemotional, logical, and demure.

Interestingly, only the future Nurse Chapel and Mr. Spock remain part of the cast in the subsequent episodes.

A much edited and expanded version of this episode was later used as the basis for The Menagerie. This is one of many episodes, such as Errand of Mercy, in which the Enterprise crew find themselves imprisoned.

Favorite Quotations

First officer, played by the future Nurse Chapel, to Captain Pike: “She’s replacing your former yeoman, sir.”

Captain Pike: “No, she does a good job, all right. It’s just that I can’t get used to having a woman on the bridge. ... No offense, Lieutenant. You’re different, of course.”

Female yeoman, jealously to Vena, Captain Pike’s cellmate: “Leave him alone.”

Vena: “He doesn’t need you. He’s already picked me.”

Yeoman: “Picked her? For what? I don’t understand.”

Vena: “Now there’s a fine choice for intelligent offspring.”

Yeoman: “Offspring? As in children?”

First officer (Nurse Chapel): “Offspring as in he’s Adam. Is that it?”

Vena, to first officer: “You’re no better choice. They’d have more luck crossing him with a computer.”

Talosian, to Captain Pike: “Each of the two new specimens has qualities in her favor. The female you call Number One has the superior mind and would produce highly intelligent children.”

Second Talosian: “Although she seems to lack emotion, this is largely a pretense. She often has fantasies involving you.”